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China Frees '89 Tian An Men Leader After 12 Hours

August 29, 1994| Associated Press

BEIJING — Wang Dan, a student leader in the 1989 Tian An Men Square pro-democracy demonstrations, was released Sunday after 12 hours in detention.

Wang told reporters that police let him go about 3 a.m. after asking him whether any protests were planned during the visit of U.S. Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown.

Most of the Tian An Men dissidents who remained in China have been jailed since March.

Brown arrived in Beijing on Saturday with 24 executives from some of the biggest U.S. corporations for talks the Chinese are hailing as a fresh start for U.S.-China trade.

Brown is the first U.S. Cabinet official to visit Beijing since President Clinton decided in May not to link China's performance on human rights with its trade status.

Human rights groups say there has been a new wave of arrests, detentions and harsh sentences for dissidents since Clinton's decision.

Wang said Sunday he refused to promise not to engage in any protests.

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